AN: And...here we are. I do apologize for how darn long this took. But, I quickly discovered just how hard it is to plan a story that will (essentially) rewrite 10+years of story-telling. I very much 'flew by the seat of my pants' with SGR 1.0. So actually planning out 2.0...was a bit of a problem. I can't even begin to list how many different drafts/ideas I went through to reach this point. All I can do is hope everyone enjoys it. So here we go, at last!
Milky Way Galaxy, P6X-894
The long-disused Stargate of P6X-894 flashed to life, the unstable vortex shooting out over the crumbling stairs set in front of the device. As the blue vortex stabilized, four people walked through the 'puddle' of the Stargate. Three men and a single woman, stumbling slightly as they left the 'Gate. The apparent leader of the group, a man with greying brown hair, cursed slightly as he regained his footing. Once he had stabilized, he glared at the cracked steps.
"Really? We finally find a 'Gate that isn't being maintained and I almost fall on my ass?" the man complained.
"It was bound to happen eventually," the shorter of the other men said, pushing up his glasses slightly.
"Laugh it up Daniel, laugh it up," the leader said.
"It is likely this is not a Goa'uld occupied world Colonel O'Neill," the taller man with the odd tattoo said, "they do not leave the Stargate untended like this."
"Thank you Teal'c, some good news," O'Neill said, looking into the distance, "even if its just trees, trees, and more trees."
That was true, as looking out from the Stargate, all the team could see was trees, and maybe what looked like ruins poking above the canopy. Fairly standard for a world with a Stargate really...if it wasn't forest, it was desert. The Gate-builders hadn't left much to the imagination when choosing planets to settle, which did raise the question of just what they were. But, the only member of the team who cared about that was Daniel Jackson. And he didn't have a chance to say anything, as the one woman on the team raised her radio, curious look on her face.
"Colonel? I'm getting a signal on the radio," she said, confusion laced through her voice, "but we're the first team to explore here, and the Goa'uld don't use radios."
"Radio signal?" O'Neill asked, turning to his subordinate, "it saying anything Carter?"
Samantha Carter turned up the volume on her radio, only static coming out.
"Nothing sir. But, I might be able to triangulate the signal and find out its source."
"Teal'c? This sound like a Goa'uld trap?" O'Neill turned to the resident expert on the alien race.
Teal'c merely shook his head slightly, "No it does not O'Neill. The Goa'uld would not use inferior technology to lay a trap, presuming they even understand how to operate it."
O'Neill nodded his head, and began to walk forward, "Well then, let's go see who our mystery radio is. About time we get something exciting other than shooting at Jaffa. No offense Teal'c."
"None taken O'Neill."
And with that, the small team...SG-1...set out into the woods, weapons ready, if not raised. The dense foliage swallowed them up, leaving no sign they had ever been there, for those who may have been watching. For SG-1 themselves, it just made the hairs on the back of their necks rise up. The trees were normal, and the only sound was native wildlife. Yet, they couldn't shake the feeling that something had begun watching them when they entered the woods. It didn't feel hostile, however that worked, but...it still felt like a pair of eyes were stalking the group.
Daniel looked over his shoulder, pushing some hair out of the way. He didn't see anything, but that didn't mean much when he had the worst eyesight in the group, glasses or not. So he tapped O'Neill on the shoulder, and whispered his worries to the ranking officer of the little team.
"Tell me I'm not the only one who feels like something is following us?"
"You ain't the only one Danny-boy," the older man replied, "why do you think I have my pistol ready?"
Daniel looked down, and noticed that O'Neill had his hand on his M9, the weapon ready to be used. Moving away again, Daniel nodded his head. The team was ready, if whatever was stalking them (if something was stalking them) proved to be hostile. And with the only 'friendly' races at this point being the Nox and Tollan...it was a good precaution. Who knew what could be out there other than the Goa'uld? Teal'c had admitted himself that they didn't control all the Galaxy, and who knew where this planet was in relation to Goa'uld territory.
So SG-1 moved closer together slowly, as they came to a clearing, part of that ruin peaking out through the trees. The building was different than typical Goa'uld architecture, resembling ancient roman building techniques, more than the Egyptian style seen from Apophis and Ra. Regardless of what it outwardly resembled though, it was falling to pieces. Much like the platform where the Stargate rested, the building obviously hadn't been maintained for centuries, maybe even longer.
"So, creepy old ruin, or more forest walking?" O'Neill asked, though he wasn't being serious.
"Ruin," Daniel replied instantly.
"Not surprised. Carter? Teal'c?"
"I agree with Daniel Jackson."
"The signal does seem to be coming from the building, sir."
O'Neill nodded, as he had been expecting those answers. Well...maybe not the signal part, but he wasn't the one tracing the thing. In any case, it was time to enter the 'creepy old ruin'. And this time, there wasn't any attempt to hid being prepared, as MP5's (and Teal'c's Staff) were raised and ready. The team knew when to take thing seriously after all. That and the flashlights helped when it became apparent the building was dark as night on the inside. Said flashlights revealed a crumbling hallway, leading deeper into the building.
SG-1 stepped over some of the rubble, walking through the dilapidated hallway. There wasn't anything in sight other than damaged walls and rubble lining the floor. No sign of Goa'uld technology, or any technology really. At least until they reached what was probably the central chamber of the building. There still was nothing overtly technological, though the first intact thing in the building. A large obelisk, sitting in the very center of the room.
"That is the source of the signal sir," Sam said.
"Daniel?" O'Neill asked
"I can't tell who built it from this distance," the resident archeologist answered, "I'd have to get closer."
The Jaffa looked over the device, examining it silently.
"It is not of Goa'uld design O'Neill, nor does it resemble Thor's Hammer," Teal'c finally said.
O'Neill nodded, "Okay then, lets go see what this is. Carefully."
He didn't need to warn them though. The last time they had seen a strange obelisk, O'Neill and Teal'c had ended up in a dungeon they couldn't leave without killing the Jaffa. Just because this one didn't look like Thor's Hammer didn't mean it wasn't also of Asgard design. They knew next to nothing about that race after all, certainly not enough to judge a random obelisk as being theirs or not.
Things seemed to be okay though. No blue light scanning them, nothing overtly technological about the stone. But...they were tempting fate, when Daniel reached out to touch it, wiping away some dust. Still nothing happened, aside from revealing an inscription written in English.
"Here lies Daedalus?" the confused man read, before the dreaded blue light engulfed the team...
"You just had to touch it, didn't you Daniel?" O'Neill complained, getting to his feet after landing on top of the younger man.
"It didn't do anything when I touched it though!" Daniel protested, rubbing a sore spot, "it activated when I read the inscription for some reason. And who would write an inscription, in modern English?"
"Modern English?" Sam asked, having not seen the inscription.
"Yeah, not even Old English," he replied, "Even odder that it references Daedalus. That's an old Greek myth."
O'Neill opened his mouth to question what exactly Daniel meant, before Teal'c drew the rest of the teams attention. The Jaffa had recovered fastest, and was standing up and looking across the room they were in...the metal room. And what had drawn Teal'c's attention was readily apparent. A window, showing outer space. Stars shining in the distance.
"Okay...when did we end up on a space ship?"
And now that they looked around the room, it was even more obvious that was what had happened to them. There were chairs and consoles scattered around, looking very human in design. Even Teal'c pointed that out.
"It is not a Goa'uld vessel. The design is not like anything I have ever seen," the Jaffa said, walking up to one of the consoles.
"Kind of looks like a Navy ship," O'Neill said, "apparently aliens like our sense of style."
"Not alien...sir," a distorted version of...Sam Carter's voice echoed from behind SG-1.
Somewhat naturally, the one who spun around the fastest was Sam herself...who came face-to-face with an older version of herself. Her mouth opened and shut, while she pointed at the smiling older Sam. O'Neill and Daniel both looked suitably shocked themselves, as Teal'c's eyebrow shot up, the most emotion he ever showed. Old-Sam (though not that old really...maybe O'Neill's age), turned to the leader of SG-1.
"I owe you now sir," she said, the voice still slightly distorted, "you won the bet."
"I did?" O'Neill asked, before getting his wits back, "what bet? And why do you look older...Colonel?"
And indeed, Old-Sam was wearing a Colonel's uniform, as opposed to the Captain that Sam was. And her smile faded as O'Neill asked that question.
"That is a long story. To keep it simple...I am older. Because this ship you are on, Daedalus, is from your future."
As if SG-1 hadn't already experienced things no other human could claim, they now found out they were sitting on a ship from the future?
"Future?" Sam asked, "but time travel is just a theory...the power requirements..."
Future-Sam smiled again, "Are astronomical, yes. Needless to say, it wasn't easy to do this."
"Wait, I have a question," Daniel said, cutting into Future-Sam's speech, "why do you sound like this?"
"Because I am not actually here. What you are talking to is an interactive hologram, programed to answer questions. I tried to give it my personality, but...that's a bit hit-and-miss with this technology."
"So...where are you?" O'Neill asked this time.
"Dead," Future-Sam replied bluntly, "one unfortunate side-effect of playing around with time travel is we couldn't do it accurately. The end-result was ending up one-hundred years too far in the past."
A century too far back? It was suddenly making sense why this ship had been hidden away, if the Stargate itself hadn't even been discovered yet. After all, not much good you could do on turn of the century Earth.
"But why would you come back at all?" Sam asked, "the risks to the timeline, even assuming it worked, would be huge."
"Very big actually, and this wasn't the first time we've done time travel. That is why we didn't interfere with Earth, and turned the ships offline aside from the beaming systems and my hologram."
"Three ships sir. USS Daedalus, USS George Hammond, and USS Odyssey. All we had left, after the Wraith."
Three things came to mind on hearing that for SG-1. First, Earth had more than three spaceships in the future, if these three were the only ones left. Second...General Hammond was going to die sometime in the next decade or so, if they were judging Future-Sam's age right, considering one of the ships was named after him. Finally...what the hell were the Wraith? That final one was said out-loud naturally.
"The Wraith...to explain, I really need to know the date."
"November Fourth, 1997," Daniel answered.
"Thank you. That means you haven't learned of the Ancients yet," Future-Sam replied thoughtfully, "The Gate-Builders, before you ask Daniel. The Wraith are the ones who finally destroyed their society, in Pegasus. We found the Wraith in 2004, and they destroyed Earth in 2009."
"Destroyed Earth?" Daniel asked, turning white as a ghost.
Future-Sam nodded sadly, "Not in the physical sense maybe. But our society...our people...were wiped out. The Wraith built super-ships that we couldn't fight, and by that point if we couldn't beat them...no one could. Thus, the plan to send our last ships back to try and avert that happening again."
SG-1 stayed silent after that, lost in their thoughts. And one couldn't blame them for that. It wasn't every day you found out that not even twenty years down the line, Earth would be destroyed. And they didn't want to think about how desperate their future-selves must have been to send the ships back with an untested method, if the wildly divergent date was any indication.
Of course, the new question this raised was rearing its ugly head. If they had the ships...did they have the knowledge of what was coming? To better plan and prepare for things? After all, foreknowledge would make things a lot easier to handle in the coming years. Oddly though, it seemed like Future-Sam predicted they would ask that, and had already started shaking her head.
"I'm guessing you want to know about future events right?" she asked ruefully, "I don't have that knowledge, and it isn't included in the database either. I know of races we'll meet, and how to work with them...but I don't know exact dates or anything along those lines."
"Why the hell not?" O'Neill asked...perhaps a bit more forceful than was strictly necessary.
"I knew you would ask that sir," Future-Sam said with a grin, "While I know you won't be happy...the reason is rather simple. Ever hear of the butterfly effect?"
Sam and Daniel nodded, while O'Neill and Teal'c (or at least O'Neill) looked confused.
"Simply put...if I told you dates of events, you might try and change those events. This could lead to good thing, like getting a better alliance than my team did. Or, it could end horribly badly. Any foreknowledge I gave would be useless within a month, and would more likely harm than help things. Just giving these ships is changing things as is. Hell, just having them here is changing things...we weren't supposed to come to P6X-894 for another few months."
"So that's why they were here..." Daniel mused, while Sam looked thoughtfully at her holographic counterpart.
"So you didn't want to give us the knowledge, in the hopes that events would pan out more or less the same?" the younger Carter asked.
"Yep. I doubt they will, but we didn't want to take the risk," Future-Sam replied.
"Stupid if you ask me," O'Neill complained, "I mean, its not like knowing when the cafeteria is serving jello is possibly going to change the future."
While current-SG-1 sighed at that comment, Future-Sam laughed. And SG-1 looked surprised at her, as a blush formed on the holograms face.
"Sorry sir...its...just been a long time since I heard you joke."
And now they knew the future sucked if it got rid of Jack O'Neill's humor. But, they had spent longer than they should have talking, and they didn't even know half of what they need to. As just looking at a watch showed they had missed the scheduled check in.
"Can you...beam...us back down to the planet? What is this, Star Trek?"
"Asgard actually. I'm guessing you need to check in with the SGC."
"Hmm...I could just take the ships back to Earth and beam you down there you know."
"I somehow doubt Hammond would appreciate that," O'Neill replied dryly.
"No probably not. Okay, I'll beam you down by the Stargate. Just use the same frequency as the obelisk signal to contact me when you are done."
And with a musical chime and flash of white light, the hologram of Sam Carter was alone once more. She walked over to the viewport, looking out at the stars. Letting out a sigh, she frowned before turning back to the bridge and 'sitting down' in the Captains chair.
"So many years...I wish I could tell them everything. But they aren't ready...they can't know about their future yet."
Back on the surface of the planet, SG-1 looked around and noticed that they were back at the Stargate. Future-Sam had told the truth evidently. At least about that...they still weren't sure that had been what it looked like up there.
"Okay...anyone believe her?" O'Neill asked, as Daniel walked forward to dial Earth.
"I'm...not sure sir," Sam replied, "she acted like me, but..."
The Captain trailed off at that. She didn't need to say anything else after all. The Goa'uld weren't exactly the subtle type, but that didn't rule out them faking something like this. And the Tollan, Nox, and Asgard (such as they knew of each race) had the technology to do something like this...of course, they probably wouldn't but it didn't mean there weren't other races of their level out there.
"I do not believe that was a trick," Teal'c spoke up, running the conversation through his head, "even if Colonel Carter was a hologram, I could see nothing but the truth in her eyes."
"For what its worth, I agree with him!" Daniel called out by the DHD, as he input the final coordinate for Earth.
As the familiar blue puddle formed, O'Neill tapped in SG-1's code, and waited for confirmation from the other side. As soon as it came through, he opened up a radio signal with the SGC.
"This is Colonel O'Neill, do you read me?" he asked, military formality taking over.
"We read you loud and clear Colonel. Why did you miss the scheduled check-in? I almost sent SG-3 looking for you," General Hammond's voice came over the radio.
"That's...complicated sir," O'Neill replied, "would you believe we found three ships from the future?"
Silence came over the radio. Silence and nothing else, as Hammond digested that bit of news. After a handful of minutes, his voice came back over the radio.
"Are you sure that is what you found Colonel?"
Say what you will about George Hammond, he recovered quickly and didn't even question the claim that there were three time-traveling ships on P6X-894. Then again, when you worked in the Stargate program, that was to be expected really.
"The ships? Well we are sure at least one of them is here. The time-travel part? I ain't sure, but Daniel and Teal'c seem to believe her."
"An older version of Captain Carter. Claims to be a hologram, looks older, the whole nine-yards."
"So...a holographic Captain..."
"Colonel...complete with the uniform."
"Colonel Carter, is claiming to be from the future, on three Earth warships. Am I correct?"
"Nah, that's about the gist of things sir," O'Neill replied easily, "so, what now?"
Hammond's line went silent again, as the General made a phone call. Like it or not, this was something that he had to clear with the President first. The SGC had a lot of leeway when it came to their operations, but there were limitations in everything, and trying to authorize bringing three warships to Earth, even if they were probably friendly, was pushing things a bit. Pushing things a lot really, when the only word they had to go on was a hologram of a time-traveling Sam Carter.
So SG-1 waited..and waited...and waited some more. Eventually, Hammond came back, his voice echoing over the radio.
"If you trust the hologram, you have clearance to bring the ships home. Make certain she isn't trying to trick you. Hammond out."
And with that, the wormhole closed. Leaving SG-1 alone again, with nothing but the wind for company. Of course, now they had to decide if they actually trusted 'Future-Sam' enough to let her take the ships to Earth. Granted they couldn't stop her, but still.
"Well...back to the ship we go," O'Neill said.
"We're taking them sir?" Sam asked.
"Like it or not, I'm not turning down three free ships. If Teal'c is absolutely certain this isn't a Goa'uld trap..."
"I am certain O'Neill."
"...then I'm fine with it. Just keep an eye on her."
The truth of the matter was just that simple. If the First Prime of Apophis was certain this wasn't some elaborate Goa'uld ploy, then they had to accept the impossible. That there really was three ships from The Future floating in orbit of this planet. And the evidence supported that in any case...from the fact that (presuming the ships came back in 2009) Future-Sam looked the right age, to knowing enough about Earth, and specifically the Stargate Program, to name a ship after General Hammond. And the fact the bridge of the Daedalus had a very 'Earth' look to it.
And, perhaps most importantly...three warships would jumpstart Earth's defenses in a huge way. Having the ships could keep Earth secure from Goa'uld invasions via-space, and pave the way for building more vessels like them eventually. Instead of having to start from scratch in designing Earth's fleet, they could just use the designs of the future-ships.
So, O'Neill retuned his radio to the frequency that Future-Sam had given them, "Anyone home?"
The answer was the flash of light again, depositing them on the now fully powered-up bridge of the Daedalus.
"I am never going to get used to that."
The hologram of Future-Sam laughed again, "You never did sir. Did you get permission to take the ships home?"
"Can we trust you?" Daniel asked this time.
"I could never do anything to harm Earth or my friends Daniel...and you all are my friends...well, maybe not Captain Carter," Future-Sam said, grinning at the sour look on her younger counterparts face, "and that is me talking...not the programming."
The raw...honesty...and hope...on her face sealed the deal. Everyone on that ship could read facial expressions and emotions, and there was no lying in the holograms face or mannerisms. She was being completely, brutally honest with them. While they still (rightfully) harbored doubts, they were willing to trust her to take them home.
"I can take us into hyperspace any time you want," Future-Sam finally said, "just give the word and the slave-circuits on the other ships will follow us."
O'Neill looked at his team, and then back at Future-Sam. Sighing theatrically, he nodded his head.
"Take us home then."
And with that, a massive hole in space formed off the bow of the Daedalus...and it shot back to its birthplace, the Hammond and Odyssey right behind it.
AN: And there we go. Now, I'm sure a lot of questions are probably coming up. So I did a little Q&A with some friends before posting this. I'm using that here as a sort of 'FAQ' for this chapter.
Q. Why Wraith instead of Ori?
A. Simply put...more believable. The problem with the Ori in SGR was simple really...if the Ori Zerg-Rushed the SGC into defeat, the first thing the time travelers would do is get the stuff from England, defusing any Ori threat. By using the Wraith, they are still an overarching threat, without having to jump through increasing numbers of hoops to justify it.
Q. Why the ships and not the crews?
A. To avoid the trouble of writing two characters with the same name in the same scene.
No I'm being serious...writing that would have been more trouble than it was worth. Its simpler this way, and ties into the next question.
Q. Why no foreknowledge?
A. Like with the Wraith vs. Ori...giving them foreknowledge would defuse any tension in the story (I like a good curbstomp...but lets not make it too easy). And anyway, as Future/Old/Holo-Sam said...any foreknowledge would be useless fairly quickly. Presuming they don't manage to make things worse in that fine Stargate tradition of botching any advantage they may have. As for tying into getting rid of the old(er) SG-1 and ship crews...they have the knowledge. If they are dead...and they don't have all the mission reports...the knowledge goes with them.
Though who knows, maybe Holo-Sam knows more than she is letting on.
Q. Where did the crews vanish to? A century isn't that long, especially with (presumably) Asgard medical tech. And someone would have a kid right?
A. *waves hand* You don't want to know the answer.
In all seriousness though, that's a plot point and answering it will spoil things so...*zips lips on that subject*
Q. Do they trust Future-Sam?
A. In a word...partially. They don't trust her completely yet, but they don't believe it to be a trap anymore. That's another plot-point...working to build trust (no, Holo-Sam isn't going away).
Q. On that note...who/what is Future-Sam?
A. An...AI if you will. Kind of like the one McKay made for that episode where Sheppard got catapulted 100k years into the alternate future. More on that later.
Q. Why these ships?
A. Think about it...what ships could survive a more devastating (even just one extra) Super-Hive attack? Daedalus (presumably repaired), Odyssey (I believe it was on the Arc mission at the time), and Hammond (nearly complete, and could be launched as a glorified evacuation craft). Apollo and Sun Tzu were nearly destroyed by one Super-Hive, toss in another one (or even more) and they go boom-boom, Daedalus only surviving still because they got the message with Earth's location before destroying it.
I think that covers the bases. If you have questions not answered up there, feel free to ask in a review. Or just review to let me know you're reading, that works too. I hope everyone enjoyed the chapter, and hopefully it won't take near as long to get chap. 2 up.
Also...a question. Right now, the other two ships (Hammond and Odyssey) are linked to the Daedalus. Buuuuttt...they may also have Holo-SG-1 members. Leave a vote in a review for which one you want on the ships. Any SG-1 member is fair game...Daniel, Teal'c, Jack, Jonas, Vala, Mitchell...whoever gets the most vote (per-ship) will be that ships Halo-esque AI. Kind of like Holo-Thor on the Odyssey, but more interactive with the crew.
See you all then!